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Circulation. 2001 Mar 13;103(10):1428-33.

Heart rate and cardiac rhythm relationships with bisoprolol benefit in chronic heart failure in CIBIS II Trial.

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  • 1Pharmacology Department, Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, France. philippe.lechat@psl.ap-hop-paris.fr



beta-Blockade-induced benefit in heart failure (HF) could be related to baseline heart rate and treatment-induced heart rate reduction, but no such relationships have been demonstrated.


In CIBIS II, we studied the relationships between baseline heart rate (BHR), heart rate changes at 2 months (HRC), nature of cardiac rhythm (sinus rhythm or atrial fibrillation), and outcomes (mortality and hospitalization for HF). Multivariate analysis of CIBIS II showed that in addition to beta-blocker treatment, BHR and HRC were both significantly related to survival and hospitalization for worsening HF, the lowest BHR and the greatest HRC being associated with best survival and reduction of hospital admissions. No interaction between the 3 variables was observed, meaning that on one hand, HRC-related improvement in survival was similar at all levels of BHR, and on the other hand, bisoprolol-induced benefit over placebo for survival was observed to a similar extent at any level of both BHR and HRC. Bisoprolol reduced mortality in patients with sinus rhythm (relative risk 0.58, P:<0.001) but not in patients with atrial fibrillation (relative risk 1.16, P:=NS). A similar result was observed for cardiovascular mortality and hospitalization for HF worsening.


BHR and HRC are significantly related to prognosis in heart failure. beta-Blockade with bisoprolol further improves survival at any level of BHR and HRC and to a similar extent. The benefit of bisoprolol is questionable, however, in patients with atrial fibrillation.

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